How to Leverage Social Media in the Fundraising Space

When it comes to social media, charitable organizations should take a page from the marketing playbook of for-profit businesses. The strategy to adopt: Grow your digital media presence to actively raise brand awareness, identify new donors, and engage with supporters.

While for-profit businesses now widely recognize the value of promoting their brand through an active social media presence, most not-for-profit organizations have been slow to adopt this tactic. Simply having a presence on social media platforms won’t do anything to increase donation levels if you aren’t actively engaging with your prime targets on a consistent basis. The “social” part of social media is the key to being active, so experiment with ways to be relevant and valuable to your audience. The resulting digital word-of-mouth will pay off in the form of enhanced brand loyalty, better customer service, and business legitimization.

Here are some ways for charitable organizations, and any organization, to make the most of social media:

  • Hire and train staff for social media management. Adding social media to a long list of responsibilities for your existing staff won’t be as successful as hiring dedicated staff to do the job. Building an active presence requires time and experience—qualifications your in-house team may not possess.
  • Gather data through customer interactions. The information you learn about people through social media can be used to identify potential donors who are passionate about your cause, and to craft more effective communications with them. You can also identify social media brand ambassadors—people who will be more likely to bring others into the fold and perhaps even serve as direct lines into communities.
  • Tap into social proof. Post information about your successful fundraising events, tweet good news about amounts raised, and encourage supporters to share personal stories related to the cause. The concept of social proof means that your audience interactions become almost like an endorsement of your organization to others. The larger the social network, the more trusted and, therefore, the more popular your not-for-profit becomes.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

Fundraising in the Digital Era Part 3: The Nuts and Bolts of a Successful Campaign

Regulatory compliance plays an extremely important role in fundraising. There are a myriad of laws and regulations put in place by government entities that protect both donors and organizations.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series, we discussed the importance of developing relationships with donors as well as ways Nonprofits can leverage integrated marketing strategies to engage donors and turn them into long lasting contributors.

In this third and final installment of the series, we will discuss the nuts and bolts of a successful campaign; mainly the compliance and regulatory issues which Nonprofits need to keep in mind when developing and implementing strategies.

The Nuts and Bolts of a Successful Campaign: Compliance and Regulatory Adherence

The federal government and each individual state have very specific regulations for every kind of direct marketing campaign, including traditional mail, phone calls, email, text messaging, etc.

It’s extremely important, therefore, that your fundraising campaign is in compliance with these rules and regulations, as your organization could be negatively impacted if something were to go wrong.

It’s in your best interest to identify a marketing partner with the knowledge, experience and technology to help you prevent compliance failures.

For example, InfoCision  has invested in advanced technology aimed to ensure compliance with a dedicated team of practitioners whose only job is to stay updated on regulatory issues.

This series was designed to introduce you to the basic tools necessary in launching a successful digital fundraising campaign. Building long-term connections with donors begins with establishing trust in the relationship.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

 

Fundraising in the Digital Era Part 2: Leveraging Integrated Marketing

Not too many years ago, Nonprofit teams had to knock on neighborhood doors to raise awareness and support for their organization. Needless to say, it was a difficult job that quickly caused some of those involved to burn out.

With the telephone and other digital channels, however, there are many more opportunities in which Nonprofits can connect with existing and potential donors.  For example, Nonprofits may leverage all sorts of emerging communities through social media.

In continuation of our three part series, below we discuss how Nonprofits can leverage integrated marketing strategies to engage donors and turn them into long lasting contributors.

Leveraging Integrated Marketing: Effective Strategies that Build Relationships

A growing majority of today’s donors spend time online. Therefore, in order to grab their attention and effectively communicate with them you need to have a strong digital presence. Below are some strategies to consider implementing with your next fundraising campaign.

  1. Pair demographic data with multichannel marketing: While the majority of donors still prefer the telephone for direct communication, younger donors tend to choose contact via digital channels, such as email and social media. To ensure that you are reaching donors through the channels they prefer, marry demographic data with multi-channel marketing solutions.
  2. Give it a personal touch: Business Intelligence and Analytics tools can help increase your fundraising success through capturing relevant insights from donor data—like preference, response rates, etc. In addition, demographic scripting can help personalize the messaging that encompasses the urgency and relevance of a Nonprofit’s value proposition.

Be sure to join me for Part 3 of this series which will discuss the nuts and bolts of a successful fundraising campaign in relation to compliance rules and regulations.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

Fundraising in the Digital Era Part 1: Building Relationships

Getting the necessary funding for an organization to be able to further its mission is not an easy task. You may need to contact dozens of potential donors before finding someone willing to donate to a particular cause.

In the not so distant past, the majority of fundraising was done door-to-door, through the postal mail, and over-the-phone. Today, however, many donors are spending a significant amount of time online. Therefore, Nonprofits must create a digital presence for their organizations to increase awareness, generate interest and acquire more donors.

In this three-part series, we will discuss how Nonprofits can build long term relationships with donors while leveraging integrated marketing to increase funding for their mission.

The Fundamentals: Building Relationships with Donors

While times have certainly changed, the fundamentals of engagement have not. Successful fundraising comes down to one thing: building lasting relationships with donors.

Rather than make the all-too-common mistake of simply asking for funds, Nonprofits should take the time and do the work to build a real connection with donors.

After all, a donor who becomes engaged with the organization will likely give again and again because they not only believe in the organization, but become personally involved in its mission.

Building a personal connection means involving donors in a multifaceted communication and engagement cycle. For example, you could follow up with a thank you call and provide a welcome kit that explains how contributions will make an impact.

While this takes dedication, engaging donors in this way will keep them active. Remember, it’s more cost effective to maintain a current donor than it is to find a new one.

Be sure to tune into Part 2 of this series in which we will discuss ways Nonprofits can leverage integrated marketing strategies to engage donors and turn them into long lasting contributors.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

Communicating With Potential Donors Is Nerve-Wracking: Three Ways to Ease the Stress

Let’s face it; communicating with potential donors can be an intimidating thing for even the most seasoned Communicators. After all, in fundraising, the objective is to obtain as many long-lasting donors as possible to continuously contribute to the nonprofit your represent. As such, experiencing rejection can be especially painful.

Acquiring donors, however, doesn’t have to be so intimidating, as there are ways in which one can ease the stress and actually be quite successful. At InfoCision, for example, many Communicators have cultivated long-lasting and trust-based relationships with donors.

Achieving successful and on-going communication starts with the first interaction. In other words, it’s all about how you approach someone. All too often, fundraisers will reach out to a donor and simply read off of his or her script.

In doing so, however, the Communicator tends to come off as cold, impersonal, and rushed. And let’s face it, no donor wants to give money to an organization that doesn’t take the time to get know them.

Rather than take the all-too-common impersonal approach, use the data you have in your system to create a more personalized first interaction. For example, data you already have will give you insight into how donors like to be contacted and when, how they engaged previously, and what is likely going to trigger their interest.

When agents are armed with donor information, they will immediately feel at ease because they are more prepared. What’s more, creating a more personalized experience for donors will not only put them at ease as well, but it will also cause them be more open to what you have to say.

Your Communicators shouldn’t be intimidated by communicating with potential donors.  Ease their reservations by giving them access to customer data that will enable them to have more personalized and successful interactions.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

 

The Truth about Donor Retention in Nonprofit Fundraising

Successful nonprofit fundraising requires a strong marketing strategy and the use of intuitive technology that gleans actionable insights about prospective and existing donors. After all, retaining donors is much like retaining consumers in that organizations must understand their audiences’ demographics and interests so that they can personalize and target their messages for better engagement.

But implementing a sound fundraising strategy isn’t so easy. In fact, many nonprofits struggle to craft a truly effective campaign strategy that increases donor retention rates year-over-year. Indeed, the “2014 Fundraising Effectiveness Project Survey Report” revealed that the average donor attrition rate is 57 percent. What’s more, the donor retention rate decreased by 7 percent from 2006 to 2014.

As such, nonprofits ought to cast an eye towards the integrated marketing solutions afforded by today’s contact centers to increase donor retention. For instance, its takes an excellent communicator to aptly convey the value of your nonprofit to potential donors, so organizations would be wise to enlist the help of trained professionals who can state your case in the most impactful light.

Additionally, contact centers have access to a myriad of sophisticated technology that can help nonprofits narrow down their audience for each campaign. For instance, if your donor attrition rate has substantially risen it might be due to an over generalized marketing message. Contact centers, however, can grant you access to data analytics that will help you realize patterns amongst your donor-base. Once these patterns—similar demographic backgrounds, past contributions, personal interests and charity affiliations—are established you can then segment your audience into groups based on similarities. In doing so, you can personalize your messages, whether they are over the phone or through an email marketing message, to match your donors pertinent concerns and improve the likelihood of gaining their contribution.

Retaining loyal donors is essential to nonprofit fundraising success. Thankfully, contact centers can provide the marketing guidance and support that is needed to cultivate long-lasting donor relationships.

Seeking additional fundraising advice? Read more here.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

The Importance of Market Segmentation in Nonprofit Fundraising

Careful preparation and appropriate research must be executed before contact center supervisors and contact center agents can actively participate in fundraising campaigns in the nonprofit space. After all, to maximize donations received, supervisors must glean important insights about which demographics will be most receptive to a particular charity or campaign. Additionally, contact center agents must then understand how to effectively communicate the mission and purpose of the charities they represent over the phone.

As such, Business Intelligence must play a starring role in the preparation and execution of a sound fundraising campaign.  For example, modern contact center tools such as market segmentation enable supervisors to group potential donors into refined categories based on their similar demographic characteristics. More specifically, market segmentation allows contact centers to target their fundraising efforts so that their resources—i.e. contact center agents’ time and energy—are used most efficiently.

Indeed, market segmentation plays an important role in ensuring outbound fundraising efforts only target individuals with the greatest propensity to donate to a particular charity. Therefore, it’s important that contact centers’ donor database includes accurate and up-to-date information.

For example, consider a nonprofit fundraising campaign for an animal rescue charity. First, the contact center marketing team must address their donor database—find out which donors made a contribution to this charity in the past, as they are likely to donate again. They can dig even deeper by seeking out new candidates whose demographic information indicate they have pets, as the mission of an animal rescue foundation will likely resonate with this type of person. Secondly, they would group these individuals based on likelihood to donate and subsequently provide agents with customized scripts that will speak specifically to each donor category.

When it comes to realizing fundraising success, it’s wise to eliminate the guesswork in recruiting donors. Look no further than intuitive Business Intelligence tools such as market segmentation, to reap the most contact center services ROI for nonprofit organizations.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Two Important Ways Contact Center Services Help Raise Non-Profit Awareness

Today, “contact center services” can refer to a multitude of communications options besides telecommunications. In fact, best-in-class contact centers are capable of providing multichannel marketing services to satisfy a wealth of needs in a variety of industries. Take the nonprofit space, for example; a multichannel fundraising campaign can help recruit a great reach of donors through the use of a combination of telephony and digital channels.

In fact, nonprofit organizations should focus on boosting their fundraising awareness by adding more channels to their campaigns. But, creating an effective multichannel fundraising program is no simple task. Recent research compiled by Blackbaud stands to substantiate this claim as many nonprofits aren’t utilizing digital channel optimally. For instance, 37 percent of nonprofits do not send emails to potential donors after signing up.

Optimizing your digital channels—through email marketing, for instance—is a surefire way for nonprofits to acquire more recognition and expand their audience reach. As such, nonprofits must come to realize that outsourcing their marketing and fundraising to a third party, like a contact center, is in their best interest.

Contact center services can help raise awareness and recruit more donors through:

  • Email marketing: Email marketing adds a different dimension to a fundraising campaign, as recruiting donors via standard phone may not be suitable for certain demographics. In addition, a contact center that is proven to succeed in this marketing channel can really hone in on its voice, tone and style, ensuring its messaging will be targeted and consistent.
  • Using technology: Business Intelligence tools used by contact centers can help a nonprofit’s fundraising success as well through capturing relevant insights from donor data—like preference, response rates etc. In addition, demographic scripting can help fine-tune the messaging that encompasses the urgency and core competencies of a nonprofit’s value proposition.

There are more ways for nonprofits to make their voices heard and attract a greater donor base, all you need to do it ask!

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Must-Have Traits for Successful Nonprofit Fundraising

When it comes to fundraising for the nonprofit space, contact centers are often the muscle behind producing results. In other words, the success of fundraising campaigns truly rests upon the shoulders of contact center agents who represent the frontline for effectively communicating the urgency and worthiness of a cause.

For prospects to become donors, they must be induced to empathize with and understand a charity. As such, when agents reach out to potential contributors, they must be able to clearly articulate the nonprofit’s value to society.

When nonprofits leverage outbound contact center services to produce better fundraising results, they’re also putting their institution’s reputation in the hands of agents. Contact center supervisors must take this immense responsibility into consideration when selecting employees to handle donor solicitation for nonprofit organizations.

Therefore, you must ensure that your agents possess the following must-have traits to guarantee fundraising success:

  • Eloquence: Your prospects are most likely strapped for time—whether they’re rushing to work, caring for their children or tending to any number of tasks—so when they answer the phone, your agents must be able to efficiently deliver an articulate message and imbue it with a sense of urgency. A potential donor will quickly become disinterested if the agent’s story line is convoluted. Instead, agents must effectively convey the charity’s worthiness in a professional and compelling manner. It’s crucial for agents to relay a polite sense of immediacy to evoke emotion and empathy from donors.
  • Trustworthiness: Especially in fundraising, contact center agents must come across as trustworthy advocates for the causes they are promoting. Supervisors must ensure that their agents aren’t making a sales pitch when requesting donations, as this approach will only undermine their efforts. The best way to turn a potential donor into a recurring contributor is by gaining his or her trust. For instance, when conversing with new contacts, agents need to communicate the quantifiable difference a single donation will make to the charity.
  • Maturity: The agents who are chosen to handle outbound fundraising should be contact center veterans dedicated to their career and, therefore, most likely to communicate effectively. Mature, experienced employees will be more successful at commanding donors’ attention through their knowledge and professionalism.

Take a tender approach with your fundraising efforts and be sure that your staff has the right set of traits to produce significant contact center service ROI for nonprofit organizations.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.